Phillip Edward Redshaw
Markham Fair President 2012
By Myra Chepack
The first son of Connie (Lewis) and Murray Redshaw, Phil was born at Newmarket Hospital on July 6th, 1960. Two brothers would follow; Andrew in April of 1963 and David in December of 1964. Phil’s grandfather, William Redshaw farmed on 19th Avenue between Markham Road and McCowan Road, just north of the current fair grounds. He died when Phil’s father Murray was young and the family relocated to Stouffville, where Phil has spent all his days to date. Being the farm just north of the Miller family, Murray Redshaw and Don Miller were fast friends from childhood as were Phil and the Miller offspring. Phil follows his lifelong friend and cousin, Donald Robert Miller who served the Fair as President in 2011. Old Macdonald’s Barn, since its inception, has been under the watchful eyes of the Miller family – the Redshaws were right beside them! Phil served as co-chair on this committee and wife Sherri contributed to the administration of the attraction.
Phil attended Orchard Park Public School and Stouffville District Secondary School. He worked part time during high school for Schell Lumber where he secured full time employment after graduation. He is currently the Inventory Logistics Manager and has been with the company for thirty-five years working alongside his father until Murray retired in early 2009.
Sherri (Tapscott) attended Stouffville District Secondary School as well, when her grandparents sold their Holstein operation at Steeles and Hwy. 48 and moved to Church Street in Stouffville. She and Phil married on September 8th, 1990. Phil and Sherri are proud parents of son Jamie, born in 1980. Jamie was a Director of the Fair for ten years and served in a number of roles on committees. Jamie’s wife Robin (Appleton) gave birth to daughter Alyssa on the 2010 Markham Fair weekend. Daughter Kristy was born in 1984. Kristy and her fiancé Evan Boyd reside in Brooklin. She is on the Fair’s Ambassador Committee and has been active in tickets and passes as well as Old MacDonalds. Son Scott arrived in February of 1994. Scott was a competitor in the baby contest that year and has participated in every aspect of the Fair since, generally being involved in the set up and tear- down of the Fair. A future President in the making, who will be intimately knowledgeable about every aspect of its operation, should that transpire.
Phil began attending the Fair at the age of five, when it was still operating at Hwy. # 7 and Hwy. # 48. His close association with the Miller family saw him working with the calves alongside Rob and Tom. He vividly remembers the ring toss where you could win a 26 oz. Bottle of Coke, surely a coveted item for a young boy! He served on his first committee in 1993 and was voted onto the Board in 2000. Along with co-chairing Old McDonalds’ Barn, Phil has served on Buildings and Grounds, Parking and Security and generally pitching in wherever a hand is needed. Homecraft has enjoyed his assistance with the committee as well as his entries over a seventeen year period in the baking competition. In his early days of baking Phil had a bet with his mother-in-law to see if he could make an apple pie, neither can remember the outcome but it lead to Phil’s continued involvement in the baking competitions. Phil’s apple pies, chocolate chip cookies and/or bread were often critiqued by his great-aunt Evelyn Byer, who felt his handling of dough, lent itself better to bread than pastry!
Phil has been active in sports his entire life from being a member of a bowling league to playing minor hockey and the Stouffville Amateur Hockey League as well as playing with the Stouffville Men’s Baseball Association. Phil also lent his time to coaching hockey and baseball for his children over the years.
Phil’s Mother, Connie (Lewis) grew up at the 10th Conc. and the Stouffville Rd. Her folks Donald and Agnes (Lotton) operated Don Lewis Nursery where her father was known as “Daddy Lewis” to all the locals.
Phil’s grandparents on his Father’s side were William Redshaw and Florence (Warby). She and her brother came to Canada from England as orphans through an organization known as Bernardo Homes, where they were placed with farm families. Many of these placements saw the children exploited, however Phil’s Grandmother said that theirs was a story of success. Both of Phil’s Grandmothers enjoyed life until the age of ninety-seven!
President Redshaw sincerely embraces family and family values as have many of the Presidents before him. He speaks with pride of brother, Andrew, who is the Operations Forester for Resolute Forest Products out of Thunder Bay and brother, David, a graphic designer in Toronto who is currently freelancing. Andrew has lived in the Thunder Bay area for twenty-five years but will undoubtedly celebrate with Phil’s entire family in the opening of the 2012 Fair.
Phil’s in-laws Ross and Pat (Prince)Tapscott lived on the corner lot of Lone Oak Farm (the Tapscott family farm), and helped Ross’ parents farm and raise Holstein cattle on the Farm, located just north of Steeles Ave. on the west side of Hwy. # 48. Ross and Pat Tapscott were active in the communities of Markham Milliken and Agincourt. They ensured that Sherri and her siblings, Teresa and Warren attended the Fair as a family, even after moving to Stouffville. Paternal grandparents were William (Bill) Tapscott and Eileen (Coxworth) and maternal grandparents were Isobel (Masters) and Jack Prince.
President Redshaw embraces and acknowledges the challenge of retaining the agricultural flavour of the Fair and is committed to continuing the promotion, of education and the retention of the Agri-food tent. He encourages continued participation and commitment to the Strategic Plan of the Fair. His admiration and value of the Volunteers is very strong and he welcomes fresh ideas and new visions from those not currently involved. He is pleased with the cohesive attitude in which the current administration and the Board are operating, reporting healthy rentals and a positive outlook. Finally, President Redshaw demonstrates humility in verbalizing his value of the contribution made by past presidents – their support, wisdom, guidance and history that make this Markham Fair the venerable event that it is.